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Subject: It's still Monopoly. rss

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Robert Potter
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I know the Geek's "official" stance on Monopoly and Monopoly derivitaves is "It blows", but I still like it. I've been wanting to break into city building games, and when I saw this, I thought, "Hey, a familiar game with a new mechanic. This should be fun!" So I plunked down the $34.99, took it home, and tried it out.

The good old-fashioned roll-and-move-and-buy-and-sell thing you know and love/loathe is still here. But now, you can build on properties (now called "districts") immediately. You can choose to build houses or offices, which are the same in terms of rent collection. The only difference is houses are cheaper, but offices are immune to the damaging effects of "Hazard Buildings" (prisons, garbage dumps, sewage plants, and power stations). Thankfully, you can protect your districts form Hazards with Bonus Buildings (wind farms, water towers, schools and parks)

There is little need to collect a "Monopoly" in this game. But, if you do, you can then buy a skyscraper for it, which doubles the rent on all lots in the group. And if you get a second Monopoly, you can buy the super-special Monopoly Tower, which doubles the rent on all your properties!

The utilites are gone, and so is Community Chest, and the railroads as you know them have been replaced with a new system. Every once in a while, players may build a Railroad station in any district, and then use them to jump around the board, passing Go much more often, and dodging those high-rent land mines.

Overall, the game is a refreshing twist on an old favorite. But, it still has its imperfections. For starters, reread the title of this review. Everything you love/hate about the original is still here to please/annoy you. The city building aspect of it is not satisfing. Buildings only interact with each other within the individual districts, so its almost like building 22 mini-cities instead of one big one. Not even that, really. Although the buildings are oddly shaped, and the districts even more so, you'd think that location within a district would matter. But any combination of buildings is the same, no matter what position they are in. It would have been easier just to put buildings on the colored bands like normal. It would have had the same net effect, and it would be a lot less confusing.

And, the more I think about, the more I realize something. Monopoly will always be Monopoly. Whether you paste a theme on it, or add a bunch of new bells and whistles, it's still the same game. No matter how many times it's reinvented, Monopoly will never become the next Settlers of Catan. If you like Monopoly, you'll like this. If you hate Monopoly, you'll hate this.

Having said that, I say I enjoy this game. It's not perfect, but what game is?
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To me, you say it's still Monopoly, but is it so different that it's worth buying this new game? I have 3 Monopoly games already (one is the original, one is a special edition, and one is Monopoly Junior). I had another one, but sold because I just have too many (It was basketball).
 
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